First major tar sands oil shipment arrives in Europe amid protests.

Guardian: “A cargo believed to be Europe’s first major shipment of tar sands oil arrived in Spain this week, as European policymakers proposed scrapping the requirement that such oil be labeled as more polluting than other forms of crude.”
“570,000 barrels of Western Canada Select heavy blend crude, originally from Canada, arrived in Spain’s port of Bilbao in the middle of this week, said a spokesman for Repsol.
The shipment, which he said was a first for the Spanish oil and gas company, is part of a pilot project to test the capacity of its refineries to process the heavy grade crude.
“We’re trying to give a future for oil refining in Europe, where many refineries have been shutting down in recent years,” he said. “We share environmental concerns but we think the solution is in efficiency and technology.”
Producing oil from tar sands generates higher greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil. It has also been criticised for the amount of water needed to extract it.
….Reports emerged this week that European policymakers are poised to do away with the methodology that would have seen fuels derived from tar sands labeled as more polluting as compared to conventional forms of crude.
The fuel quality directive, approved by EU member states in 2009, mandates a 6% reduction in greenhouse gas emission from fuel by 2020. One proposal to achieve this goal was to designate oil from tar sands as 25% more polluting as compared to other forms of crude.
The Canadian government has spent years lobbying against the proposal, arguing that it unfairly singles out Canadian crude. EU member states failed to reach an agreement over the proposal.”